Clive's pick: Stoke v Chelsea
news Sun 19 Mar 2017
Clive Walker, a radio and TV commentator for Chelsea throughout the season, focuses on a match-winning contribution from one of our defenders.
'We have been very fortunate that the three centre-backs – Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill and David Luiz – we have used since the change in formation to a 3-4-2-1 have come through virtually unscathed. This, as well as performances from all the attacking players, is a big reason as to why we are top of the league with 10 games remaining.
The work that the three defenders have put in on the training ground is immense. All three have had to tweak their game a bit, work together as a group, organise and communicate to get us where we are.
While they all deserve so much credit for the way they have gone about their business, this week I'd like to focus my attention on Cahill. To change from right to left, to take the captain's armband and perform like he has each week this season, not to mention scoring goals – wow!
Mentally, this is something to really admire. His confident performance at the Bet365 Stadium after giving away a somewhat soft penalty was excellent, and then to put it right with a late goal to win the game is a testament to his character.
I think we can all agree that if Diego Costa had scored from close range to win a match we would have said, 'Brilliant, that's what he does,' but when a defender scores a goal like that, it's not natural. The finish from Gary wasn't easy, but he made it look it, and at an incredibly vital moment, too. It was a great time to do it, ensuring we go into the international break on a real high.'